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Henne' over a myle, with-in a greet village, Ne deeth, allas! ne wol nat han my lyf; Both man and womman, child and hyne,2 | Thus walke I, lyk a restelees caityf, 400
360 And on the ground, which is my modres I trowe his habitacioun be there;
gate, To been avysed greet wisdom it were, I knokke with my staf, bothe erly and late, Er that he dide a man a dishonour.”
And eye, 'leve15 moder, leet me in! 'Ye, goddes armes," quod this ryotour, Lo, how I vanish, flesh, and blood, and "Is it swich peril with him for to mete? 365 skin! I shal him seke by wey and eek by strete, Allas! whan shul my bones been at reste? I make avow to goddes digne* bones! Moder, with yow wolde I chaunge my Herkneth, felawes, we three been al ones; cheste,
406 Lat ech of us holde up his hond til other, That in my chambre longe tyme hath be, And ech of us bicomen otheres brother, 370 Ye! for an heyre clowt 16 to wrappe me!' And we wol sleen this false traytour Deeth; But yet to me she wol nat do that grace, He shal be slayn, which that so many For which ful pale and welked"? is my sleeth,
410 By goddes dignitee, er it be night."
But, sirs, to yow it is no curteisye Togidres han thise three her trouthes To speken to an old man vileinye, plight,
But18 he trespasse in worde, or elles in To live and dyen ech of hem for other, 375 dede. As though he were his owene yboren In holy writ ye may your-self wel rede, 414 brother.
'Agayns' an old man, hoor upon his heed, And up they sterte al dronken, in this rage, Ye sholde aryse,' wherfor I yeve yow reed? Aød forth they goon towardes that village, Ne dooth un-to an old man noon harm Of which the taverner had spoke biforn, And many a grisly ooth than han they Namore than ye wolde men dide to yow sworn,
380 In age, if that ye so longe abyde; And Cristes blessed body they to-rente And god be with yow, wher21 ye go22 or “Deeth shal be deed, if that they may him ryde.
I moot go thider as I have to go.” Whan they han goon nat fully half a “Nay, olde cherl, by god, thou shalt nat myle,
so, Right as they wolde han troden over a Seyde this other hasardour anon, style,
“Thou partest nat so lightly, by seint An old man and a povre with hem mette.
Lohn! This olde man ful mekely hem grette, 386 Thou spak right now of thilke traitour And seyde thus, "now, lordes, god yow Deeth,
That in this contree alle our frendes sleeth. The proudest of thise ryotoures three Have heer my trouthe, as thou art his Answerde agayn, “what? carl, with sory aspye, grace,
Tel wher he is, or thou shalt it abye,24 Why artow1l al forwrapped"save thy face? By god, and by the holy sacrament! Why lyvestow so longe in so greet age?"391 For soothly thou art oon of his assent,
This olde man gan lokel3 in his visage, To sleen us yonge folk, thou false theef!” And seyde thus, “for I ne can nat finde “Now, sirs," quod he, “if that yow be so A man, though that I walked in-to Inde, leef26 Neither in citee nor in no village, 395 To finde Deeth, turne up this croked wey, That wolde chaunge his youthe for myn For in that grove I lafte him, by my fey, age;
Under a tree, and ther he wol abyde; 435 And therfore moot?4 I han myn age stille, Nat for your boost28 he wol him no-thing As longe time as it is goddes wille.
hyde. 1 hence. 2 servant. 3 forewarned. 4 honorable.
17 withered. 18 unless s of one mind.
19 before. 20 advice. 21 whether. 12 walk. 8 protect. churl.
25 conspiracy. 11 art thou. 12 wrapped up. 13 looked.
16 hair cloth.
7 seize. 10 bad luck to you.
27 on account of.
See ye that ook? right ther ye shul him And bad hem drawe, and loke wher it finde.
475 God save yow, that boghte agayn man- And it fil on the youngest of hem alle; kinde,
And forth toward the toun he wente anon. And yow amende!”-thus seyde this olde And al-so sone as that he was gon, man.
That oon of hem spak thus un-to that And everich of thise ryotoures ran, 440
other: Til he cam to that tree, and ther they “Thou knowest wel thou art my sworne founde
480 Of florins fyne of golde ycoyned rounde Thy profit wol I telle thee anon. Wel ny an eightel busshels, as hem Thou woost wel that our felawe is agon; thoughte.
And heer is gold, and that ful greet plentee, No lenger thanne after Deeth they soughte, That shal departed been among us three. But ech of hem so glad was of that sighte, But natheles, if I can shape it so 485 For that the florins been so faire and That it departed were among us two, brighte,
446 Hadde I nat doon a frendes torn to thee?” That doun they sette hem by this precious That other answerde, “I noot how that
hord. The worste of hem he spak the firste word. He woot10 how that the gold is with us “Brethren," quod he, "tak kepe? what tweye;
What shal we doon, what shal we to him My wit is greet, though that I bourde3 seye?”
490 and pleye.
450 “Shal it be conseil?”'ll seyde the firste This tresor hath fortune un-to us yiven, In mirthe and Iolitee our lyf to liven, "And I shal tellen thee, in wordes fewe, And lightly as it comth, so wol we spende. What we shal doon, and bringe it wel Ey! goddes precious dignitee! who wende aboute." To-day, that we sholde han so faire a “I graunte," quod that other, “out of grace?
doute, But mighte this gold be caried fro this That, by my trouthe, I wol thee nat place
495 Hoom to myn hous, or elles un-to youres- “Now," quod the firste, “thou woost For wel ye woot that al this gold is oures- wel we be tweye, Than were we in heigh felicitee.
And two of us shul strenger be than oon. But trewely, by daye it may nat be; 460 Look whan that he is set, and right anoon Men wolde seyn that we were theves Arys, as though thou woldest with him stronge,
pleye; And for our owene tresor doon us honge." And I shal ryve him thurgh the sydes This tresor moste ycaried be by nighte
500 As wysly and as slyly as it mighte. 464 Whyl that thou strogelest with him as in Wherfore I rede that cut among us alle
game, Be drawe, and lat se wher the cut wol falle; And with thy dagger look thou do the And he that hath the cut with herte blythe same; Shal renne to the toune, and that ful And than shal al this gold departed be, swythe,
My dere freend, bitwixen me and thee; And bringe us breed and wyn ful prively. Than may we bothe our lustes al fulfille, 505 And two of us shul kepen subtilly 470 And pleye at dees right at our owene This tresor wel; and, if he wol nat tarie,
wille.” Whan it is night, we wol this tresor carie And thus acorded14 been thise shrewes By oon assent, wher-as us thinketh? best.”
tweye That oon of hem the cut broughte in his To sleen the thridde, as ye han herd me fest,
2 note of
9 know not. 12 scoundrel.
10 knows 13 betray.
11 a secret. 14 agreed.
This yongest, which that wente un-to The thridde he kepte clene for his drinke. the toun,
For all the night he shoop him15 for to Ful ofte in herte he rolleth up and doun 510
546 The beautee of thise florins newe and In caryinge of the gold out of that place brighte.
And whan this ryotour, wih sody grace, “O lord!” quod he, “if so were that I Had filled with wyn his grete botels three, mighte
To his felawes agayn repaireth he. 550 Have al this tresor to my-self allone,
What nedeth it to sermone17 of it more? Ther is no man that liveth under the For right as they had cast his deeth bifore, tronel
Right so they han him slayn, and that Of god, that sholde live so mery as I!” 515 And atte laste the feend, our enemy, And whan that this was doon, thus spak Putte in his thought that he shold poyson
“Now lat us sitte and drinke, and make us With which he mighte sleen his felawes merie,
And afterward we wol his body berie." For why 3 the feend fond him in swich And with that word it happed him, par
lyvinge, That he had leve him to sorwe bringe, 520
To take the botel ther the poyson was, For this was outrelys his ful entente And drank, and yaf his felawe drinke To sleen hem bothe, and never to repente. also, And forth he gooth, no lenger wolde he For which anon they storven 19 bothe two. tarie,
But, certes, I suppose that Avicen
561 Into the toun, un-to a pothecarie,
Wroot never in no canon,20 ne in no fen, And preyed him, that he him wolde Mo21 wonder” signes of empoisoning selle
Than hadde thise wrecches two, er hir Som poyson, that he mighte his rattes ending quelle;
Thus ended been thise homicydes two, 565 And eek ther was a polcat in his hawe, And eek the false empoysoner also. That, as he seyde, his capouns hadde yslawe,
O cursed sinne, ful of cursednesse! And fayn he wolde wrekes him, if he O traytours homicyde, o wikkednesse! mighte,
O glotonye, luxurie, and hasardrye! On vermin, that destroyed him by nighte. Thou blasphemour of Crist with vileinye The pothecarie answerde, “and thou And othes grete, of usage23 and of pryde!571 shalt have
531 Allas! mankynde, how may it bityde, A thing that, al-sg god my soule save, That to thy creatour which that thee In al this world ther nis no creature,
wroghte, That ete or dronke hath of this confiture And with his precious heste-bļood thee Noght but the mountance of a corn of whete,
Thou art so fals and so unkinde, allas! 575 That he ne shal his lyf anon forlete;11 Now, goode men, god forgeve yow your Ye, stervel2 he shal, and that in lasse whyle trespas, Than thou wolt goon a paasl3 nat but a And ware yow24 fro the sinne of avaryce. myle;
Myn holy pardoun may yow alle waryce,25 This poyson is so strong and violent." So that ye offre nobles or sterlinges, This cursed man hath in his hond Or elles silver broches, spones, ringes. yhent14
540 Boweth your heed under this holy bulle! This
poyson in a box, and sith he ran Cometh up, ye wyves, offreth of your In-to the nexte strete, un-to a man, And borwed of him large botels three; Your name I entre heer in my rolle anon; And in the two his poyson poured he;
In-to the blisse of hevene shul ye gon; I throne. ? buy. 3 because. permission. 5 entirely 15 planned. 16 labor.
18 by chance. 7 yard. 8 13 at a foot pace.
17 speak. 20 See notes. 91 more. 24 keep you.
o kill. il lose.
I yow assoile, by myn heigh power,
585 Werk wel thy-self, that other folk canst Yow that wol offre, as clene and eek as cleer
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede. As ye were born; and, lo, sirs, thus I preche.
pelyaicina Tempest thee noght al croked to redresse, And Iesu Crist, that is our soules leche, In trust of hir that turneth as a bal; So graunte yow his pardon to receyve; Gret reste14 stant15 in litel besinesse, For that is best; I wol yow nat deceyve.590
And eek be war to sporne16 ageyn an al; But sirs, o word forgat I in my tale; Stryve noght, as doth the crokke with I have reliks and pardon in my male,
the wal. As faire as any man in Engelond,
Daunte7 thyself, that dauntest otheres Whiche were
me yeven by the popes dede; hond.
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede. If any of yow wol, of devocioun,
595 Offren, and han myn absolucioun,
That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse,15 Cometh forth anon, and kneleth heer The wrastling for this world axeth 18 a fal. adoun,
Her nis non hom, her nis but wildernesse; And mekely receyveth my pardoun: Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out Or elles, taketh pardon as ye wende,
of thy stal! Al newe and fresh, at every tounes ende, Know thy countree; lok up, thank God of So that ye offren alwey newe and newe 601
al; Nobles and pens, which that be gode and Hold the hye-way, and lat thy gost 19 thee trewe.
lede! It is an honour to everich that is heer, And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede. That ye mowe have a suffisant pardoneer
ENVOY Tassoille?.yow, in contree as ye ryde, 605 For aventures which that may bityde. Therefore, thou Vache, leve20 thyn old Peraventure ther may falle oon or two
wrecchednesse; Doun of his hors, and breke his nekke Unto the world leve now to be thral; atwo.
Crye Him mercy that of His hy goodnesse Look which a seuretee is it to yow
alle Made thee of noght, and in especial 25 That I am in your felaweship yfalle, 610 Draw unto Him, and pray in general That may assoille yow, both more and For thee, and eek for other, hevenlich lasse,
mede 21 Whan that the soule shal fro the body And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.
passe. I redes that our host heer shal biginne,
THE COMPLAINT OF CHAUCER TO For he is most envoluped in sinne.
HIS EMPTY PURSE Com forth, sir hoste, and offre first anon, And thou shalt kisse the reliks everichon, To you, my purse, and to non other wight22 Ye, for a grote! unbokel anon thy purs. Compleyne I, for ye be my lady dere!
I am so sory, now that ye be light;
For certes, but?3 ye make me hevy chere, BALADE DE BON CONSEYL Me were as leef be leyd up-on my bere;
For whiche un-to your mercy thus I crye: Fle fro the prees, and dwelle with soth- Beth25 hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!
fastnesse;8 Suffyce unto thy good, though hit be smal; Now voucheth sauf this day, or26 hit be For hord hath hate, and clymbing tikel- night,
That I of you the blisful soun may here, Prees hath envye, and wele10 blent'l overal; Or see your colour lyk the sonne bright, 10 Savour12 no more than thee bihove shal; 5
15 resides. 1 wallet. to absolve. 3 high.
19 spirit. • advise. uncertainty. 10 wealth.
4 low. & each one. i the crowd.
16 kick. 20 cease.
appearance. 25 before.
That of yelownesse hadde never pere. I sauh25 a tour on a toft26 trielicha Ye be my lyf, ye be myn hertes stere,
ymaked;28 Quene of comfort and of good companye: A deop dale bineothe' a dongeon ther-inne, Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye! With deop dich and derk and dredful
of siht.2 Now purs, that be to me my lyves light, 15
A feir feld ful of folk · fond I ther bitwene, And saveour, as dound in this worlde here, Out of this toune help me through your
Of alle maner of men the mene 30 and the might,
riche, Sin that ye wole nat been my tresorere;
Worchinge31 and wandringe as the world
asketh.32 For I am shave as nye as any frere.* But yit I pray un-to your curtesye:
Summe putten hem33 to the plow and
pleiden 34 ful selde;35 Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!
In settyng36 and in sowyng swonken? LENVOY DE CHAUCER
ful harde, O conquerour of Brutes Albioun!
And wonnen that theos38 wasturs 39 in Which that by lyne and free eleccioun
glotonye distruen. 40 Ben verray king, this song to you I sende; And summe putten hem to pruidel. apAnd ye,
that mowen 6 al myn harm parayld"2 hem ther-after, amende,
In continaunce43 of clothinge' comen disHave mynde up-on my supplicacioun!
gised. To preyere44 and to penaunce. putten hem monye,45
For love of ur16 lorde lyveden 47 ful streite, PIERS THE PLOWMAN
In hope for to have · hevenriche48 blisse;
As ancres *9 and hermytes · that holdeth From the PROLOGUE
hem50 in heore51 celles, In a somer sesun whon softe was the Coveyte not in cuntre52 · to cairen53 aboute, sonne,
For non likerous54 lyflode55 · heore licam 36 I schop' me in-to a schroud8 · a scheep' to plese.
30 as I were;
And summe chosen chaffare57. to cheeven58 In habite of an hermite' unholy of werkes, the bettre, Wendelo I wyde in this world wondres to As hit semeth to owre siht · that suche here.
men thryveth; Bote on a May mornynge on Malverne And summe murthes59 to maken as munhulles11
strals cunne, Me bi-fell? a ferly13.of fairy, 14 me thoughte. | And get gold with here gle61. giltles I trowe. I was wery, forwandred,15 • and went me Bote japers62 and jangelers,63 · Iudas chilto reste
35 Under a brod banke · bi a bourne16 syde, Founden64 hem fantasyes65 and fooles And as I lay and leonedel7 and lokede on hem maaden, the watres, And habbeth wit at heor wille66
to I slumberde in a slepyng · hit sownede18 so worchen67 gif hem luste; murie. 19
That68 Poul precheth of hem · I dar not Thenne gon20 I meeten21 . a mervelous preoven heere; swevene,
26 cleared space.
choicely. That I was in a wildernesse wuste23 I
gave themselves. 34 played
35 seldom. never where;
38 these. And as I beheold into the est · an heigh24 40 destroy. 41 pride. to the sonne,
43 outward appearance.
47 lived. 1 guide.
48 happiness of the kingdom of heaven. have power to. 8 garment.
50 keep themselves.
52 country. shepherd.
54 luxurious. 12 happened. 13 wonder.
62 fools. 15 tired with wandering. 16 brook. 18 sounded.
39 wasters. 42 clothed. 44 prayer.
61 buffoons. 64 feigned. 21 dream
67 work if it pleased them. 24 on high
69 prove, explain.
prosper. 60 know how
66 at command.